Julius Caesar is a key link between Shakespeare's histories and his tragedies. Unlike the Caesar drawn by Plutarch in a source text, Shakespeare's Caesar is surprisingly modern: vulnerable and imperfect, a powerful man who does not always know himself. The open-ended structure of the play insists that revealing events will continue after the play ends, making the significance of the history we have just witnessed impossible to determine in the play itself. John D. Cox's introduction discusses issues of genre, characterisation, and rhetoric, while also providing a detailed history of criticism of the play. Appendices provide excerpts from important related works by Lucretius, Plutarch, and Montaigne.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), poet and playwright, is generally considered the greatest dramatist in the English language. |John D. Cox is DuMez Professor of English at Hope College, Holland, Michigan, and has published widely on Shakespeare and other Renaissance drama.